You might think of business incubators as buildings

While that can be true, to us incubation really means providing entrepreneurs with services necessary for growth. Most business incubator clients are startups with significant potential to scale but whose capabilities are still incomplete. Innovate 518 provides services to help entrepreneurs and ventures thrive.

Affiliated partners in Innovate 518 include incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and community & entrepreneurial service providers. Each partner has a unique industry focus, expertise, clientele, and culture. At each incubator location, a client plan is developed as determined through the intake process. Company needs are documented, a strategy for addressing them is developed, and then Innovate 518 and regional resources are mobilized to implement the plan.

We live within a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and our mission is to connect startups with resources that may include:


  • Access to angel investors, private equity and venture capitalists

  • Connections to banks

  • Access to various forms of grant resources


  • Onsite spaces that allow you to focus on running your business

  • Shared services including libraries, reception, copy machines, mailrooms, and high-speed internet access

  • Connections to strategic partners and higher education institutions

Experts in Industry

  • Assistance with business functions including accounting, finance, marketing, strategy, legal issues and regulatory compliance

  • Mentoring and advice from successful entrepreneurs and subject matter experts

  • Technology transfer and commercialization

  • Presentation skills and pitch practice sessions

  • Intern and student support

  • Networking events

  • Human resource tools for regional companies via CEG's Talent Connect

  • Recruitment of executive leadership and employees

  • Approved vendor list (discounted services may be available)

Tax Incentives

These incentives provide up to five years of corporate tax exemptions in NYS in addition to sales tax refunds.  While not available in conjunction with the tax incentives in START-UP NY, they are meant to serve as a pathway into that program. Visit START-UP NY for more information.  

To receive tax incentives through the Hot Spot program, companies must be certified and meet the following criteria and complete the steps below. To learn more about certification, contact us. Company must be in good standing with an Innovate 518 affiliated partner, be on a path toward scalable development, and have less than $2 million in operating annual revenue.

  • Provide a scanned copy of their articles of organization or other suitable documentation demonstrating that the venture is in its first five years of operation; seven years is acceptable for life science ventures.

  • Provide a scanned copy of the Innovate 518 CEO Endorsement signed by the venture’s CEO.

  • Provide a scanned copy of a signed letter from their host Innovate 518 affiliated partner certifying: 1) that the venture is in good standing with the affiliated partner; and 2) the date which the venture joined the affiliated partner.

Find out how New York's Capital Region innovation hotspot supports companies and works with START-UP NY to help them be successful. Watch this video!
*Note: Not all companies receiving services through an Innovate 518 affiliated partner program are eligible for tax incentives. The recommendation for tax incentives is made by the affiliated partner program in consultation with the Innovate 518 operational leadership. 

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